Commitments (1 of 2)

Sustainable Energy for All
Commitment and Accountability Framework
Georg Kell
Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Key questions for consideration
What is the role for commitments under SEFA?
2. What constitutes a commitment to SEFA?
3. Do we need a screening process? What could it look like?
4. How do we hold organizations (and governments) accountable
for the commitments they make?
Building on Ten Years Experience with Corporate Commitments
• 6000+ companies in 100+ Local Networks
• Voluntary commitment to integrating the ten GC principles into
strategies and operations and taking action in support of UN goals
• Key attributes of core UNGC framework include
– CEO commitment and Board endorsement
– Continuous progress model
– Accountability framework (annual COP requirement)
– Strict logo policy and brand management
• SEFA framework to drive new effort to systemize corporate
commitments to wider set of UN goals on a system-wide platform
What is the role of commitments under SEFA?
• Objectives
– Mobilize action and partnerships realizing three objectives
– Demonstrate widespread multi-sector support for the SEFA initiative
• Key considerations
Voluntary -- Regulatory
Public -- Private (3GF)
Awareness -- Commitment -- Action
Quantity -- Quality -- Focus
What constitutes a commitment to SEFA? (1/3)
A commitment is a promise to take action in the future, alone
or in partnership with others, including:
New projects or partnerships;
Scaling up or accelerating existing activities
Adding additional partners to existing projects
Also include renewal of commitments made in the recent past, if
activities to realize commitment are still ongoing
• How do we avoid punishing early-movers?
Ambitious efforts that have been successfully completed should be
recognized and promoted as inspiration for others;
Special recognition for commitment-makers that are clearly ahead of
others in its sector
What constitutes a commitment to SEFA? (2/3)
• Fall within the high-impact areas of the Action Agenda
• Align with sector-specific best practices (20 industries)
Chemical industry example
to Energy
Develop products and services that drive customer /
consumer energy efficiency or enable increased
renewable energy uptake
Develop more renewable
feedstocks and bio-based building
Use more energy efficient techniques
blocks for commodity and
to generate electricity and steam
intermediary chemicals
and run operational processes
Use more renewable energy
sources to satisfy operational
Establish an integrated, enterprise
energy needs and prioritize
energy management function in
investments in this area
your organization
Improve the
energy efficiency
of your products
and services
Beneficially reuse waste streams
to provide access to energy
Support legislation and regulation related to the establishment of a price
signal for carbon and renewable fuel standards
Each sample best practice comes with a detailed description and illustrative case studies
What constitutes a commitment to SEFA? (3/3)
• Complete set of suggested criteria:
 Promise to take action in the future
Aligned with high-impact areas and sector specific best practices
Leadership commitment (CEO signature required for companies?)
Identify time-bound targets and KPI’s
Include description of resources dedicated to realize commitment
Commitment to transparency through annual reporting on progress
• A simple template reflecting this criteria will be developed to
ease both submission and review of commitments
Do we need a screening process?
• Screening, formal or not, is required to
– Verify that commitment meet criteria and align with action agenda
– Single out high-impact commitments that should be positively
differentiated (media outreach, speaking opportunities, etc)
• Higher impact commitments
• Safeguard integrity of the UN and SEFA
What could a screening process look like?
• Should be very efficient in terms of both time and cost: Need to
process, hopefully, high quantity of commitments within a few
• Technical review by experts working on soliciting commitments
from the various sectors
• Coupled with oversight by a legitimate body, e.g. a small group of
high-level UN officials
How do we hold organizations (and governments) accountable
for the commitments they make?
• Transparency around the commitments made, also in the months
and years after the commitment is announced, in itself allows for
public scrutiny and thus increases accountability;
• In addition, the main accountability measure suggested is an annual
communication on progress requirement:
– Brief description of progress made in realizing commitment and brief
description of future plan of action
– Included into existing communication to stakeholders
– Optional 3rd party review of communication on progress
– UN to list non-communicating organizations and governments
• Beyond accountability, communication on progress will allow for
aggregated monitoring of progress and facilitate learning
Next Steps
• Develop “Call for Commitments” materials, including (translation!)
– Section on Sustainable Energy for All web site
– Brief, sector-specific publications
• Align sector-specific best practices (developed with SEFA, LEAD
and C4C companies) with high impact areas of Action Agenda;
• Collect and promote illustrative case examples;
• Work with SEFA as well as LEAD and C4C companies to get first
round of high-impact commitments
• Outreach through regional SEFA launches and Global Compact
Local Networks
Key questions for consideration
What is the role for commitments under SEFA?
2. What constitutes a commitment to SEFA?
3. Do we need a screening process? What could it look like?
4. How do we hold organizations (and governments) accountable
for the commitments they make?
Sustainable Energy for All
Draft Commitment and Accountability
How do we make it attractive to make commitments?
• Companies/governments can and should only be expected to make
commitments that make good business/policy sense
• But SEFA can cause companies/governments to start earlier, go
further and increase collaboration by:
– Advocating the need for action and promoting best practices and
leadership examples;
– Letting the light shine on commitment-makers (events, awards, web
site, press releases, etc)
– Allowing companies (and others) to associate themselves with SEFA,
and by extension the UN, in their own communications.
– This could include a special version of the SEFA logo that commitmentmakers could use to increase the branding recognition value of making a
commitment (with logo/brand policy)

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